On July 15, 2009, the Springfield Township Police Department was contracted to take over all police functions for the Village of Lakemore and in essence the two police departments became one. Out of this union the Community Youth Division (CYD) was born. The CYD has two primary functions, administering the Juvenile Diversion Program in Springfield Township and the Village of Lakemore as well as operating the Truancy Program for the Springfield Local School District.
Juvenile Diversion Program
The Juvenile Diversion Program was established by the Springfield Township Police Department to provide an alternative for handling youthful offenders rather than referring them to the juvenile court system. The program permits the Police Department to work directly with the juvenile and his or her parents and with other agencies to zero in on the factors causing the behavior that brought the juvenile to the attention of the police.
Eligibility for Referral
Generally, juveniles who commit minor offenses and who have not had a previous contact with the Juvenile Court system are eligible for referral to CYD’s Juvenile Diversion Program. The decision to refer a juvenile to the Diversion Program or to the juvenile court system is made by a CYD officer on the basis of guidelines established by the Police Department and Summit County Juvenile Court.
A juvenile who is referred to the Diversion Program must attend a hearing at the Springfield Township Police Department. At that hearing, the CYD officer will advise the parents that the matter is being heard unofficially and informally and that in order for the hearing to continue, they must give their consent. If consent is not given, the matter will be referred to the Juvenile Court on an official complaint for an official hearing.
In agreeing to participate in the Diversion Program, parents and juveniles agree to meet all the requirements of the program. Requirements will include adherence to the Juvenile Diversion Contract. Failure to follow the contract will result in a referral of the case to the Summit County Juvenile Court.
The diversion hearing does not establish a juvenile record for the child and is confidential. Upon successfully completing the program the Springfield Township Police Department prepares a request to seal and expunge the record of the juvenile involved. The request is then sent to the Juvenile Court.
Walk-ins are also considered when parents need help providing the proper information to their child. All juveniles are placed on a 90 day minimum contract that is closely monitored and given effective logical consequences to abide.
Springfield Local Schools Truancy Program
CYD’s main function in the Truancy Program is to improve the attendance of all students missing more than an average amount of school and to work intensively with those missing excessively, so all students in Springfield Local Schools will be able to take full advantage of educational opportunities offered.
Truancy Checks / Home Visits
CYD will check on the whereabouts of students reported to school enrollment records but who are not present in any school. Home visits will be conducted to verify the status of the child’s illness and welfare. Parents will be contacted by a CYD police officer to verify the child’s status and reason for missing excessive amounts of school.
Juvenile Court Referrals
CYD will coordinate Juvenile Court Referrals for formal court action in cases of continued unexcused school absenteeism in which students and/or families appear resistant to interventions.
As schools refer students with attendance problems, CYD will coordinate or sit in on parent conferences and follow up with student conferences at individual schools, along with home visits to provide counseling as needed.
Make families aware of resources within the community that may be helpful to their unique situations: i.e. Child Guidance, Safe Landing, etc.
Upon request of the Springfield Local School District Superintendent, CYD will also conduct investigations to establish the proper and legal residence of students enrolled in the school district.
For more information on the Community Youth Division, contact CYD Officer Rick Poling, at (330) 734-4101.